SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico police officer who adopted a child from a pregnant woman he found using heroin in what has been held up as an alternative to abortion is pictured in uniform on an anti-abortion billboard without his permission, his superiors say.
Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets appears on a billboard along an interstate that runs through the city, along with the words “My favorite right is life.”
The images include two of him holding his daughters, including one daughter he adopted from a couple he found shooting heroin while on patrol in 2017. Holets also helped raise money to find housing for girl’s biological parents while they completed a drug rehabilitation program in 2018.
The heroin-using woman was pregnant at the time Holets found her, and she agreed to give up the girl for adoption after the birth.
Gallegos, the police spokesmen, said he hadn’t seen the images on the partisan blog posts, and he couldn’t immediately say if they violated department policy.
Maharg did not return messages left with her staff Wednesday, who said she was traveling. A staff member said her comments to the television station lacked context, but declined to send a copy of the interview she said she had recorded.
Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.